As a consumer, there’s a good chance you’ve Googled a business and had a look at the Google My Business listing that pops up on the right-hand side of the page. You may have even clicked through to the company’s website – or maybe not. Perhaps you found all the info you needed right there in the business listing.

As a small business owner, you may be wondering how many people have done the same with your business on Google . Are they focusing on your Google My Business listing? Or heading directly over to your website? Maybe both ? Do you actually need a Google My Business listing AND a website?

Well, it depends who you ask. Marketing pros are divided – some swear you only need a GMB (Google My Business) listing; others will tell you a website is all you need; still others will tell you both is the way to go. So what’s the right answer?

First, let’s take a quick look at what each of these two marketing platforms actually do and how consumers are using them.

Google My Business
GMB is essentially an online business directory. Business owners set up their listing, populate their details, add photos, and can begin collecting reviews from customers. If you’re one of the few people who haven’t seen a GMB listing, you’ll find it on the Google search page to the right of your search results. The listing can include business contact details, address and map, a link to the business website, photos, and customer reviews.

Local Business Website
You’re online reading this article, so I’m pretty confident you understand what a business website is. But just in case… A business website tells customers and potential customers everything they could possibly need to know about the company. This includes detailed contact information, information on services and pricing, photos of projects or products, reviews, a blog, and – very important for local businesses – it establishes the company as a respected part of the community.

How Do They Compare?
It’s clear a GMB listing and a business website offer a lot of the same information. But are they redundant? Let’s check out two important statistics on how consumers interact with platform, according to a survey conducted by Bright Local .

Which sources are used to find a local business’s phone number or address?
• 87% of consumers have looked for a phone number or address online.
• 64% of consumers have used Google My Business listings to find a local business’s address or phone number.
• 49% of consumers visit local business websites to find contact details.

What does this tell us? First, and probably pretty obvious, a lot of people – 87% – use the internet to find a business’s contact details. Of those consumers searching online, 64% have used GMB to find contact details, while 49% have used a business’s website.
Not a big disparity, but it’s clear GMB is used frequently when consumers just need a quick bit of info, like a phone number or address.

Which source do you expect to have the most accurate and up-to-date information?
• 56% of consumers expect local businesses’ websites to have the most accurate contact information.
• 32% believe Google My Business has the most accurate information.

What is your competition doing?
• 44% of small businesses have claimed their Google My Business listing. Source

• 64% of small businesses have a website. Source

What can we learn from this? Well, both GMB and business websites are woefully underutilized in the local business arena. Aside from that, we can see less than half of small businesses have claimed their GMB listings, which means you could have a leg up on your competition with your own GMB listing. On the flip-side, more than half of small businesses have a website, which means there’s a good chance your competitors have one. If you don’t, then your competitors already have an advantage.

These stats are a bit more interesting. While a lot of people refer to GMB for business contact details, only 32% trust those details as being the most accurate. The majority – 56% – feel a business’s website is actually more accurate.

Need help understanding Google My Business, local business websites – or both? Reach out to a DIY Marketing Club advisor. We’re experts at digital marketing and we’d love to help you decide which marketing strategy is right for you.